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Russia blocks LinkedIn, finds social network guilty of breaking storage laws

Regulators have announced that the social network will be blocked within 24 hours.

By Ellie Burns

Russia is set to block LinkedIn following a ruling by Russia’s communication regulator that social networking site had broken local data storage laws.

The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said that LinkedIn would be unavailable in the country within 24 hours.

The law which LinkedIn was found guilty of breaking relates to a 2014 ruling which requires social networks to store the personal data of Russian citizens on Russian web servers. In what marks the first time the law has been enforced on a US social network company, a Kremlin spokesperson told journalists that the regulator Roskomnador was abiding to Russian law and that the Kremlin had no intention of intervening in the case.

A LinkedIn spokesman said: “Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.

linkedin blocked“We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localisation request.”

The news agency Interfax was told by a Roskomnador spokesperson that they were working out the logistics of such a meeting.

The blocking of LinkedIn by Russian authorities follows the billion dollar takeover of the social network by Microsoft. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLIve 2016 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admitted that “acquisitions are tough”, but said that he was confident that the buy of LinkedIn would be a success.

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Mr Nadella went on to say that Microsoft will be a responsible custodian of LinkedIn’s data.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, stated on 29 September that the Commission would be looking at whether it needed to more closely examine deals involving large amounts of data.

She said that “companies need to make sure they don’t use data in a way that stops others competing”, but said that holding a large amount of data is not necessarily a problem. Vestager said that her team is “exploring whether we need to start looking at mergers with valuable data involved, even though the company that owns it doesn’t have a large turnover.”

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